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Positive Thinking & Your Health

Dec 21, 2015

by Luke Edward Hays

The phrase positive thinking does come across as feel good language. Through research it has been revealed that positive thinking is more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude that can create real value in someone’s life. Barbara Fredrickson, a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, did an experiment to research the different emotional reactions of different groups of people to see how they would respond.

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“Negative emotions involve more thinking and therefore get processed more thoroughly than positive ones,” sociologist and former Stanford professor Clifford Nass wrote in The New York Times. “Almost everyone remembers negative things more strongly and …

Positive emotions broaden an individual’s momentary thought-action range; these include: joy, which sparks the urge to savor and integrate, and love which sparks a recurring cycle of each of these urges within safe close relationships. The second key proposition concerns the consequences of these broadened mindsets. Positive emotions promote discovery of creative actions, ideas and social bonds that in turn builds into that individual’s personal resources. These resources range from physical and intellectual, to social and psychological.
Barbara Fredrickson conducted an experiment where she divided research subjects into five groups. Each group was then show different film clips that created different emotions.

 

  • The first group saw images that created joy.
  • The second group saw images that created feelings of contentment.
  • Group three was the control group, they where shown images that where neutral and had no significant impact on their emotions.
  • The fourth group saw images that created feelings of fear and group five saw images that created feelings of anger. Afterward, participants where asked to imagine themselves in a situation where similar feelings would arise and then write down what they would do.
  • The final two groups where shown clips that created negative emotions.

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By the end of the experiment, there were drastically different results. Participants, who saw images of fear and anger, wrote down the fewest responses. The participants who where shown images of joy and containment, wrote down a drastically higher number of actions they would take. These specific results came out even higher when compared to the neutral group.
Barbara Fredrickson refers to the benefits of positive emotions as “The Broaden and Build Theory.” This theory describes the form and functions of a subset of positive emotions. These emotions include: joy, interest, contentment and love. The experienced positive emotions broaden your sense of possibilities and open your mind. In turn this allows you to build new skills and resources that can provide value in other areas in life.

Increasing positive thinking can be accomplished by three different methods. These methods do not only increase your positive thinking, but also results in positive effects on one’s health.

First, take time to write. A study from the Journal of Research in Personality examined 90 undergraduate students. The students where split into two groups. Group one wrote about an intensively positive experience each day for three consecutive days. Group two wrote about a control topic. Following three months of the experiment, the students who wrote about the positive experiences had better mood levels, experienced fewer illnesses and had fewer health center visits.
The second is meditation. Barbara Fredrickson and her colleagues found people who meditated also built valuable long-term skills. It was also revealed that people who meditate daily display more positive emotions than those who do not.
The third may come as a surprise, play. It is important to schedule time to play in your life. It is easy to get caught up in our daily schedule that we can forget to set sometime aside and step back to enjoy a slice of life. Take an opportunity to block out an hour on your calendar or write a reminder to make time for yourself.

Appreciating real value in life begins by thinking positively. The value created helps to build strength that will last throughout your lifetime. When experiencing positive emotions like joy, contentment, and love you will see more life possibilities. They may be writing, music, meditation, or anything else that provides more than just a momentary decrease in stress. Once this step is accomplished, our brains will do the work. We need to set time aside to play and seek adventure on a regular basis.

References:
Chopra, D. (2011, December 5). Can positive thinking make you well? Retrieved October 28, 2015, from http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/05/health/positive-thinking-deepak-chopra/

Clear, J. (2013, July 10). The Science of Positive Thinking: How Positive Thoughts Build Your Skills, Boost Your Health, and Improve Your Work. Retrieved October 29, 2015, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-clear/positive-thinking_b_3512202.html

Fredrickson, B. (n.d.). The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. Retrieved October 28, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1693418/

Positive thinking Quotes. (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2015, from
http://quotesgram.com/positive-thinking-quotes/

 

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Building A Positive, Productive Team

Mar 25, 2015

Have you ever been part of a highly-motivated, high-morale team?

If you have, chances are that most days you were happy coming in to work. You had fun collaborating with your colleagues, and, together, you were able to come up with some great ideas. Because of your focus and enthusiasm, you probably did some of your best work with this group.

Teams that are highly motivated and positive are not only fun to be part of, but they also accomplish far more than teams that are struggling with morale.

This is why it’s so important that, as a leader, you strive to build a positive team. In this article, we’ll show you how!

The Benefits of a Positive Team

Research shows that positivity can make a real difference to people’s success and well-being.

In one study, researchers found that happy individuals are then more successful in many areas of their lives, especially in their careers, compared with individuals who struggle with happiness and positive thinking.

Other studies show how much of an impact positivity has on people’s ability to think creatively, progress their careers, cope with challenges, and work with other people. Positivity is an essential ingredient for success!

Positivity also brings longer-term benefits. Barbara Fredrickson, professor and social psychologist, created the Broaden and Build Theory to explain how positive emotions can broaden our behaviors over time. According to Fredrickson, the more positive emotions we experience, the likelier we are to exhibit other positive behaviors, such as curiosity, awareness, discovery, and creativity – all essential for successful innovation. In short, the happier we are, the more creative we are, and this is true for individuals as well as for groups.

Becoming a Positive Leader

Teams often become more positive because they have a positive leader. This is why focusing on your own happiness, well-being, and emotional intelligence is the first step in creating a great team.

Martin Seligman, a leading positive psychologist, developed the PERMA Model to highlight the five essential elements that you need in order to be happy. PERMA is an acronym that stands for:

Positive emotion.
Engagement.
Positive Relationships.
Meaning.
Accomplishment/achievement.

Start by thinking about how you can increase each of these elements in your life. Spend some time reading our article on PERMA and then take action – the more of these things you can bring to your life, the happier you’ll be!

Next, stop and think about the work that you do. Do you know what your strengths are? And how often do you get to use these strengths?

Our work is most satisfying when we can use our unique abilities in a way that makes a real difference to someone else, or to our organization. First, conduct a Personal SWOT Analysis to discover your strengths. Then, use the MPS Process (MPS stands for Meaning, Pleasure, and Strengths) to see how you can use your strengths to bring more meaning and pleasure to your career.

Last, work on your emotional intelligence . Emotional intelligence is a vital leadership skill, because it gives you an awareness of your own emotions, as well as for the feelings and the needs of others.

Emotionally intelligent leaders understand what their emotions are telling them, and, because of their inner strength and awareness, they don’t take out their own negative emotions on their people. This is definitely a skill that you should cultivate if you want to lead a positive team!

Removing Obstacles to Positivity

Before you can encourage positivity in your team, you need to remove any obstacles to it. By doing this, you can ensure that your team won’t start getting motivated and then run into a series of roadblocks; this start-and-stop progress is dispiriting, and it can quickly undermine your team’s sense of motivation.

Herzberg’s Motivator and Hygiene Factor Theory gives you a great starting point for working on motivation. Psychologist Fredrick Herzberg discovered that employee satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not opposites. For your team members to be satisfied in their jobs, you must first remove the causes of dissatisfaction, and then add factors that contribute to satisfaction. Both of these steps need to take place for your team members to feel truly happy in their work!

For example, are there policies in your organization that could be causing dissatisfaction for your team members? Is each person’s salary competitive? Would your team members be happier if you provided cross-training opportunities, or flextime? These are just a few of the elements that could contribute to your team members’ satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

The office itself is something that has the potential to destroy motivation and positivity. So, take steps to create a healthy workplace for your team. Look at the work environment; it should be comfortable, well-lit, clean, and safe. Other elements, such as life balance, employee recognition, and involvement, also play a big part in your team members’ happiness (or lack thereof).

Praise your team members for the good work that they do, and ensure that everyone has a healthy balance of work and time off.

Managing Positively

Once you’ve removed obstacles that could slow your team’s progress, it’s time to start managing your team in a positive way. There are many ways to do this.

Teams that fully understand the purpose of what they do are usually more engaged than teams without this focus. This is why it’s important to create mission and vision statements for your people. These statements are inspiring messages that express the deeper purpose of the work that you are doing.

Create a team charter to define each person’s role, the group’s projected outcome, and your own expectations. Team charters are useful for a happy team, because they provide focus and direction. After all, when your team members know what they’re doing (and why), they can all move forward together, instead of pulling in different directions.

Next, look at the objectives that you’ve set for your team. Make sure that your team members’ goals align with those of the organization by using Management by Objectives . Without this framework in place, your team members might feel unmotivated, simply because they’re not sure what they should be doing, or because they don’t understand how their role benefits the organization.

Keep in mind that you play an enormous part in how your people feel day-to-day, as well as in their long-term success. Look at how you’re communicating with them, and how you’re helping them develop on an individual level.

Keep your team informed about what’s happening in the organization, as well as within the team; the more open and transparent you are, the easier it will be to build trust and create good relationships. Schedule regular meetings to discuss important updates or changes. This also gives your team members a chance to voice any concerns or issues that they’re having with their work.

Research shows that autonomy plays a significant role in how satisfied people are in their jobs, so do what you can to give more power to everyone on your team. This might mean delegating important tasks, or simply stepping back and letting people choose how they’re going to complete a project. An added benefit of encouraging autonomy is that people’s work often improves when they have the power to choose when and how they complete it.

Your team members can’t be positive and focused if they don’t have the resources they need to do their jobs. So, are you supporting your people as effectively as you could be? The only way to know for sure is to ask them.

Find out what their biggest frustrations are at work, and discuss how you could eliminate them. Are the processes and procedures that they use working well? Do they have any trouble finding key information? By practicing Management by Walking Around on a regular basis, you can connect and communicate well with your team, and, by doing this, you can understand what’s really going on.

Reinforcing Positivity

Positivity is a habit, and the only way that you’ll cultivate long-term positivity with your team is to reinforce it daily. This takes focus and self-discipline, but the benefits can be huge!

First, make an effort to build confidence in your team . Giving autonomy helps you get started with this, but you can also build confidence by celebrating the successes that your team members achieve. Another way to help your team is to encourage training and development opportunities, so that your people can build additional skills and knowledge.

As you’ve likely experienced in the past, one person’s bad attitude can affect the entire group. If you have a team member who consistently thinks negatively, then you need to take action before he or she drags the group down.

The Betari Box is a useful tool for explaining how someone’s attitude and behavior can affect the people around them. Meet with your negative team member one-on-one, and use this tool to explain how his or her attitude is affecting the group. Approach the situation with sensitivity and respect; this person might be experiencing problems at home, or may have deeper issues that might be contributing to his or her negative attitude.

Next, try to understand the problem. Is this person unhappy in his or her role? And what could you do to help him or her turn things around?

Also, coach your people to use affirmations to be more positive. Affirmations are positive statements that help you overcome negative thinking. They’re great for helping your team members overcome self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors.

SOURCE: MIND TOOLS. http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/building-positive-team.htm

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How to Attract Positive People

Sep 3, 2014 0

 By Connie Alsobrook

happy people 1.Smile. When you smile you are projecting positive energy, thus getting back what you put out.
2.Give. Giving brings on a warm and caring spirit that others feel.
3.Compliments.Everyone like to receive these, you give one and watch the smile on their face.
4.Gratitude. Say thank you as much as possible.
5.Positive. Places. Library, ice cream shop, gardens, bird watching, and charity events.
6.Love. Love freely

 

 

 

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